If you read my last blog, you know that my book, Maybe It’s You, is being published by Hachette Book Group on April 4, 2017.
Yes! The Handel Method® is heading to bookstores and Amazon!
Pre-order Maybe It’s You today, and get 50% off of HG’s no nonsense digital coaching course, Inner U. And discover there ain’t no maybe about any of it.
Here’s an excerpt from Chapter Two of my book on how much our theories––in this case, our theories about dating––inform our current reality.
I know, not yours …
Every year, my college best friends and I get together for a girls’ weekend. We kiss our kids and husbands goodbye, some of us leave written schedules and directions, and spend at least one night together away in a hotel, usually in New York City. New York City is the most convenient location for the four of us moms who all have young kids and are spread out among the East Coast. One night is usually more realistic for all parties involved because you know–husbands–motherhood–kids–life.
I look forward to this weekend every year. As it approaches, I start counting the minutes. The excitement builds. The number of group texts increases. What are we wearing? How many Soul Cycle classes are we taking? Who is booking the spa treatments? Where are we going for dinner? Definitely somewhere we can dress up in the clothes we own but never have any place to wear them to.
I can’t wait for the reminiscing, the laughter, the catching up, the deep conversations, the getting ready all together in the same room like it was during college, and the staying up late and sleeping in (if you count 8:30 am as sleeping in). While we’re on the subject of sleeping, I can’t wait to not have to wake up to anyone asking me for anything. To not have to fight with anyone about what’s for lunch. To not have to enter into any negotiations or diffuse any meltdowns. To not have to share my ice cream! And to enjoy a glass of wine without interruption! Go to the bathroom alone! And most importantly, to not feel guilty about any of it!
Love is my close mom friend putting me in bed, rubbing lotion on my feet, and staying until I fall asleep after the exhaustion of postpartum depression and anxiety have set in for the day.
Love is my mom who always answered the phone each morning so I could walk laps around my neighborhood, sobbing to her that I would never get better.
Love is my husband coming to therapy with me so he could better understand what was I was going through and how to support me.
Love is my husband sending me flowers just to tell me he is proud of the fight I am putting up.
Love is my sister crying on the phone to me because she is worried and just wants ME to be okay.
Love is my sister holding my hand in person and from afar because she knows what it’s like to feel how I feel.
Love is my best friends talking and emailing behind my back because they want me to get healthy and happy.
I just got a sneak peek of my friend Lauren Zander’s new book Maybe It’s YOU: Cut the Crap. Face Your Fears. Love Your Life. And you know what? Life is tough. And the things you really want in life often seem impossibly far out of reach.
In her new book, Lauren Zander uses her proven approach to resetting your life by facing your fears and saying yes to even the most difficult-seeming challenges. You will be left inspired to make major changes in all areas of your life, from your career to your love life to your health to your family, and more.
Are you ready to get at the helm of your own life, at your own pace, with the play button literally at your fingertips? Pre-order Maybe It’s YOU and gain exclusive access to Inner.U, her 11-session digital course, at half the price. Talk about the ultimate interior design!
Check out today’s guest post from fabulous life coach, Lauren Zander.
Let’s face it, as moms, we are never just one type. We have multiple personalities. I have multiple mom personalities. On any given day, I don’t even know which one will make an appearance. Who you get usually depends on the moods and behaviors of my little one. Or what time of day it is. Or if my husband remembered to put the car seat in my car the night before. At any given time of day, whether at my house or out in public, you are guaranteed to be greeted by one of these mommies.
Happy Mommy: Happy Mommy typically means we had an extremely smooth morning routine. My son woke up sometime after 7 a.m., entertained himself until I got out of bed thirty minutes later, ate all his breakfast, got dressed without a fight, and needed no persuading to get in the car to go to school on time. Happy Mommy sticks around when the day is almost meltdown-free. I love happy Mommy. So does my husband. Happy Mommy is nicer on phone calls to him. She doesn’t nag or bark orders as much. She even might be inclined to give blow a job at the end of the day! She also comes out at night when my son has gone to bed. Happy Mommy sits on the couch with a glass of wine and binges on Netflix. Happy Mommy hopes she will reappear the following morning but you just never know.
Scary Mommy: Scary Mommy might be the norm around here these days, at least where appearances are concerned. Scary Mommy often drops her son off at school hoping she makes it to drop-off in time so she doesn’t have to get out of the car and expose the fact that her hair isn’t brushed, her face isn’t washed, and she might still be wearing the clothes she slept in or has at least changed into fresh sweatpants. And a bra is definitely not part of that outfit. It’s very possible that Scary Mommy is going home to go back to sleep after drop off and hopefully take a shower. But if it’s a choice between showering and napping, she probably chooses the nap.
Dear Pregnant Jen,
There is so much I wish I could tell you before you go into labor on that first night of Passover, March 25, 2016. Yes, you will go into labor during the first night of Seder while sitting at a table with 30 of your closest Jewish family members. Papa will be asking, “Why is this night different from all other nights,” and it most definitely is as you simultaneously death grip squeeze your sister’s hand under the table, time your contractions on your iPhone, text a close mom friend who informs you to “call the fucking doctor,” and realize that not only do your contractions not conform to the 5 minutes apart pattern you learned about in birth class, but nothing about labor and delivery is anything like you’ve seen on television or in the movies.
I regret to inform you that you won’t sneeze and gracefully pop a tiny human out of your vagina like Brooklyn Decker in What to Expect When You’re Expecting. You also won’t look pretty, perfect, and polished like Brooklyn Decker during and after the delivery of your baby. Swollen, stoned, and sleep-deprived is more like it.
Let’s start there. Labor is unpredictable and doesn’t always go according to plan. In fact, the word plan really has no business being in the same sentence as the words birth and baby. Your baby is going to do what he wants. He gives zero fucks about your plans, not while he is in your belly and not when he comes out. He doesn’t care that you want his bris to be after Passover so guests can enjoy their lox and cream cheese on bagels rather than matzo. It won’t matter to him that the best mohel in town might be on vacation (although he should because…it’s his penis getting snipped). And he really doesn’t give a shit that you want to do everything in your power to avoid a C-section and have him the old-fashioned way.
Do you ever wonder if you are missing the motherhood gene? I mean, I know I’m a kickass mom, but I think we all feel like this sometimes. I remember when I first started seeing my therapist during the days of postpartum depression (a time where I had no interest in being a mom at all), and she determined that I was more of an A-/B+ personality, she also decided I was part male (I happen to agree with her but that’s another blog post for another time). Lately that has me thinking…maybe it’s not that I’m missing the mom gene, but perhaps there are times when I could actually be a dad trapped inside a mom’s body–because here are eight examples of my less than stellar parenthood behaviors (we all have our moments) and let’s be honest moms, aren’t these things we like to get on our husband’s cases for? And if I’m being completely honest, my husband may have helped me with this list…because he kind of agrees!
- When I go out of town, my husband puts our little one to sleep and cooks himself a gourmet meal and sets a proper place at the table. I’m talking restaurant style–place mat, correct placing of utensils, fully poured glass of wine and all. When my husband goes out of town, I get in my pajamas, turn on the Netflix, call for takeout and eat from the box the food came in. And if dessert is involved, it’s probably coming in bed with me.
- On Saturdays, my husband spends all morning with our son, going from activity to activity—breakfast, soccer, car wash, mini golf, watching trains, riding the trolley, playground, Lego store, grocery shopping, and more. He wonders if they haven’t done enough. When my husband is out of town and I’m responsible for the Saturday morning routine, I most likely make it to the car wash before we find ourselves at home binge-watching Paw Patrol. I’m exhausted just thinking about that activity list!
I recently attended a Design Your Life (DYL) Weekend with Handel Group in New York City. I went in thinking how easy it would be for me, that I would rock it, make it my bitch, if you will. I mean, I’m pretty evolved, aren’t I? I’ve battled and overcome a year of postpartum depression. As a result, I’ve found my identity, purpose, and a level of authenticity many people lack. I decided I was going to become a writer so I did– and in under a year I have started a blog, grown a fairly decent-sized Facebook Community, been published on over ten online publications, and did a guest spot on my first radio show. I make time for self-care, self-growth, and I read tons of self-help books. According to Jen Sincero, I’m a bad-ass bitch!
And on that first day, I still felt pretty bad-ass. I was already familiar with some of Handel Group’s method from attending Campowerment retreats where one of the experts is a Handel coach. I knew about the three voices in my head that prevent me from designing the life I dream of. The weather report that tells me I can’t lose the weight because it’s just too hard to do around the holidays because you know, latkes and donuts. The brat who convinces me I would rather go back to sleep after I drop my son off at preschool over going to a coffee shop to get my daily writing finished. And the chicken who is just too scared to want to do anything at all because what if the end result is failure or rejection?
And then day two happened and yeah, not so bad-ass anymore. I showed up still feeling pretty confident and in just under an hour’s time, I was knocked off my self-imposed pedestal. Did you know that each and every one of your personality traits comes from one of your parents? Even if you think there is no possible way a particular trait was inherited from your mom or dad, in some way or another, it was. I always believed that I was nothing like my parents, especially after how they conducted themselves during their long, dragged out, nasty divorce. That my own marriage has everything to do with my parents since I most likely chose my husband because he provides everything I never got from their relationship. That I couldn’t possibly be like my “avoid anything emotional and hard” father and my “it couldn’t possibly be me” mother. They say we all turn into our mothers eventually. I found that out when my cmy coach suggested I was playing the “innocent victim” card.
I remember looking around at Mason’s 1st birthday and thinking, wow I’ve really arrived. I’m a mother, his mother and I feel fabulous about it. I’m surrounded by family, close friends, and this amazing Pinterest inspired decor I paid someone else to craft for me. I’m dressed to match the theme of his Mustache Bowtie Birthday bash, I have makeup on, my hair is blown out, and I’m smiling and genuinely happy. Postpartum depression, I can finally say I kicked your ass!
The struggle was real and the road was not easy. I fought hard to get better. I needed lots of help, help I agreed to take, because it’s impossible to recover alone. In the end, I came to accept myself as the mom I was, not who I envisioned I would be during my pregnancy. I started to forge my own identity, something that was completely stolen from me and called into question by having postpartum depression.
I would forever be a medicated mommy and that was okay. I would need the help of a part-time nanny to stay sane as a mother. I would need breaks and me time and not feel guilty about taking them. I would never make my own baby food and my son would only know formula. I wouldn’t always enjoy bath time, kids’ birthday parties, or the playground. I would completely love my son, but my identity wouldn’t be 100% wrapped up in him. I wouldn’t be like my own mother. I wouldn’t be like my mother in law. I wouldn’t be like my supermom friends. I would just be me.
I try not to feel guilty about having postpartum depression, but sometimes I can’t help but feel guilty about putting my husband through it. I can’t begin to imagine what it was like for him. Husbands, the fathers of our children, are often left out of the postpartum depression conversation. Our men can be just as clueless about PPD as we are before it runs us over like a mac truck. They must feel just as lost and helpless as the women they love and now share a child with feel. Most want to help but have no idea where to even begin.
I’ve been asked the same question by so many moms I know. They want to know how my husband was able to “get it.” Some of these moms who also suffered from PPD had husbands who didn’t immediately understand what they were going through–how could they not fall in love or bond with their baby right away–why a trip to the gym or nail salon couldn’t alleviate their tears and anxiety. I remember a few things about my husband during that time. First, he agreed to come to a therapy session with me. This proved to be extremely helpful because he could listen to a trained professional specializing in what I was going through. Second, my husband is a “researcher”, so I’m pretty sure he educated himself about PPD on the Internet. Third, I made him read the information here and he followed it. Lastly, he just tried to be supportive without ever forcing motherhood on me or judging the fact that I wasn’t capable of embracing it immediately.
For these reasons, I thought it would be helpful to write about my struggle with PPD from my husband’s point of view, so I interviewed him. Here are his responses. He promised me he wouldn’t hold back and wouldn’t sugar-coat. He assured me he would give real, honest, detailed responses. Breathe Jen. You will get through reading and reliving this. Read more